WEB ONLY: Province provides some grants to hospitals for maintenance

TORONTO – The Ontario government has announced grants for hospitals in the Wellington County area.

Through the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Inte­gration Network (WWLHIN), the provincial government is providing cash for upgrades at Groves Memorial Community Hospital, Fergus, and North Wellington Health Care (Louise Marshall Hospital, Mount Forest and Palmerston District Hospital).

The government is pro­viding $155,484 to the Fergus hospital and $304,739 for the North Wellington Health Care.

The funding being provided is part of $41-million being spent in hospitals across the province.

“Our government is invest­ing in safer and more efficient hospitals,” said Perth-Welling­ton MPP John Wilkin­son. “We’re making sure Groves Memorial Community Hos­pital and North Wellington Health Care are able to provide quality care in facilities that are well maintained and comfortable for patients.”

Network chief executive officer Sandra Hanmer said, “We’re strengthening the hos­pitals in our area so that they can better serve patients. We’re continually working to find the best way to determine the most economical and efficient way of improving hospital facilities and long-term investments.”

Jerome Quenneville, Presi­dent and chief executive officer of Wellington Health Care Alliance (Groves and North Wellington Health Care), said “The HIRF grant will allow for necessary hospital upgrades and maintenance which will ultimately help maintain if not improve services for those who receive care. It helps us cope with some of the limitations of our older buildings and repair vital infrastructure components that these larger buildings require over time.”

Every hospital will receive a grant of at least $150,000 per site.

The money comes at a time municipal governments in Wellington County have learned that growing communities such as the local health integration network are drastically underfunded to the point of and average of nearly $280 per person. There is currently a lobby group work­ing to convince the province to provide more health care cash to communities with growing populations.

At Groves Hospital, the money will go to a number of projects including the replace­ment of the air conditioning system.

Groves officials are plan­ning to build a new hospital at the Wellington Place lands in Aboyne.

At North Wellington Health Care, projects include dark room renovations and heliport paving at Louise Marshall Hos­pital, and accessible wash­rooms and lifts, and HVAC upgrades at Palmerston District Hospital.

The WWLHIN is providing a total of $1,692,742 to the eight hospitals in its area. This includes:

– $179,516 to Cambridge Memorial Hospital;

– $370,175 to Grand River Hospital, Kitchener;

– $181,412 to Guelph General Hospital;

– $160,607 to Homewood Health Centre, Guelph;

– $155,454 to St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Guelph; and

– $185,355 to St. Mary’s General Hospital, Kitchener.